Perseverance in Faith: A History of the Catholic Church in Western North Dakota: Diocese of Bismarck, 1910 - 2010
Edited by Marge Gross and Margaret Sitte
Editions du Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2009, 223 pages, hardcover.

The following text appears in the Foreword for the book: "From meager beginnings, the Catholic faith has grown strong in the hearts of the people of western North Dakota. French traders and trappers first carried the faith to this area in the 1730s. Missionaries arrived in the 1840s, bringing the love of Jesus to the Indians. In the 1880s, pioneer immigrants started organizing parishes, while priests traveled long distances, monks founded an abbey, and sisters started hospitals and schools. In 1910, the Diocese of Bismarck was established. After 100 years, there are 62,000 Catholics in the diocese, which has a total population of 253,000."

"The 34,268 square miles of the diocese encompass the 23 counties along and west of the Missouri River. It's a beautiful land, from rolling hills and buttes, to waving fields of grain, to rugged, sun-baked Badlands. Despite its winter cold and gusty wind, this land has a warmth and texture reflected in the hearts of the sturdy people who call it home. They have learned the lessons of perseverance: a strong work ethic, care for one's neighbor, and a steadfast faith in God."
The Table of Contents includes: Chapter 1 Indians, traders and missionaries, 1735-1870; Chapter 2 Soldiers and a territorial bishop, Bishop Martin Marty; Chapter 3 Statehood and The Diocese of North Dakota, Bishop John Shanley; Chapter 4 Creating the Diocese of Bismarck, Bishop Vincent de Paul Wehrle, O.S.B.; Chapter 5 War, prosperity and building, Bishop Vincent J. Ryan; Chapter 6 Bocations blossom on the prairie, Bishop Lambert A. Hoch; Chaphter 7 A steady hand in the face of turmoil, Bishop Hilary B. Hacker; Chapter 8 Conforming to Vatican II, Bishop John F. Kinney; Chapter 9 Calling all to holiness, Bishop Paul A. Zipfel; Maps of the Diocese; Parish Histories; Mission in Kenya; and Parishes that have closed.

Bishop Martin Marty was named the first bishop of Dakota Territory in 1879.
The Ursuline Sisters came from Germany and founded a school at St. Anthony south of Mandan in 1910. Two sisters stand with more than 75 students in 1911.
St. Mary's in Bismarck was the first non-Indian School in the region. It consisted of a church and school and was staffed by Benedictine priests and sisters from Minnesota. (Annunciation Monstary, Bismarck)
The Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey, Missouri, minister on the Standing Rock Reservation from 1884 to 1995. Included in this group picture are Father Martin Kenel (left) and Father Bernard Strassmaier (third from Left). (Conception Abbey)

Perseverance in Faith: A History of the Catholic Churh in Western North Dakota

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